Chesapeake divers

Hunting, Waterfowl

Maryland sea duck hunt highlights beauty of sport

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A journalist, orthopedic consultant, welder and deputy sheriff enter a floating blind in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay…

PERSPECTIVE: There’s more to hunting and fishing than just the yield

Lifestyle

Planning trips to go hunting or fishing just to come up short is nothing less than disappointing. Not all of us are lucky enough to have plenty of acres or a body of water out of our backdoor that we can walk out into in search of whatever our hearts desire that day.

But one thing that I think all hunters and anglers share is the mindset that it’s not about the daily yield, but rather the experience of being outdoors in general.

It may not be at the forefront of thought while we’re out there, but the basic opportunity to escape and take part in something like deer hunting or boating upholds the work of many people over a century in the United States. 

Sometimes we complain about the rising prices of hunting licenses, but don’t immediately think that those extra dollars are going to help conservation efforts. We become dismayed about public land being overstocked but don’t try to get permission from our neighbors who own prime hunting grounds. And we complain about not bagging a “trophy” buck when we get a perfectly fine 8-point that helps fill up the freezer. 

And there are some of us – something I begrudgingly admit that I’ve been a part of – that run out to buy new gear hoping to use it on an upcoming hunt and don’t have the picturesque trip we envisioned. What we don’t do, though, is absorb the moment. We don’t take in the songbirds floating around us, or the chipmunks scurrying across the ground looking for shelter and a quick bite to eat. We also don’t think about the person next to us (if there is someone) and what it means to have the privilege to hang out with them in the wild. 

The Cheat River Basin seen from Raven Rock in Cooopers Rock State Forest.

Sitting among nature is a cathartic experience a lot of people don’t get a chance to frequently experience. For those who are religious, there are many texts that hit on the environment and our place in it. One quote from The New Testament comes in Luke 17:20-21: “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” 

I promise I’m not going to preach to you. 

Although slightly ironic that I’m implying the kingdom of God is observable, Christ is saying that we fail to see the kingdom that surrounds us. In our present-day world ravaged by climate change, laden with technology and ruptured by radical politics, sometimes it’s needed to escape into the wilderness and connect with our inner-being. 

After all, we’re naturally a hunting species that settled down into agrarian culture when the nomadic life wasn’t fully sustainable. Even then, our ancestors still hunted to sustain themselves when crops and other forms of survival slipped. 

Even if you don’t hunt or fish, being out in the midst of the wilderness is enlightening, refreshing and captivating. Get out there – your mind, body and soul need it.  

Masters of elusion: Western Maryland grey squirrels get away during three-day split hunt

Hunting, small game

SMITHSBURG, Md. – It’s crazy to think that an area four hours from your normal hunting spot would breed different quirks in the same animal, but that seemed to be the case when scoping out squirrels in the hills of western Maryland. 

Danner Powderhorn boots impress on first cold hunting trip

Gear Review, Lifestyle

It’s been a while since I’ve been impressed by something as simple as a boot, but Danner may have a new lifetime customer.

It could be that I’ve never treated myself to a pair of solid boots, too, but when I first tried on my new pair of Powderhorns I was immediately impressed. At first, it felt slightly clunky because they went up 10 inches to my lower calf, but after walking around in them for a half-hour it felt as if I had been wearing them for weeks. They got a little more action in the following days when I would walk my hound on the hills that surround my house, and whether it was rainy or wet with 30-degree temperatures the boots managed well.

Hiking Raven Rock at the peak of its beauty

Hiking, Recreation

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It’s known to most Morgantown locals but also attracts those out of the area throughout the year. Not only is it attractive that you can set up a campsite less than a mile away from the trailhead, the entire hike down the Ravens Rock trail is beautiful – especially in the first few weeks of fall.